My Genesis of Bible Study

Before I begin discussing Adam and Eve, and while I was reading it, there are a few important issues that I sort of have to mentally rummage through.

First, do I believe that the story of Adam and Eve is literal?  Was there really a man, Adam, and a woman, Eve, who lived in a paradisaical garden wherein there was a fruit tree that would give them knowledge of good and evil and a snake that could talk and tempt?  (Now that last part sounds sort of derisive, but obviously if it is literal, my disdain of the talking snake is just part of the enmity between me (woman) and the serpent, and I’m crushing its head (ego).  So, please, literal readers of the Bible, don’t get all up in arms about me yet!)

Second, if I do believe that the first few people in the Bible were real people, and it all happened exactly as Genesis claims, how do I reconcile that to dinosaurs and early fossils of humans, as I don’t really buy into a fossil-hiding god.

Third, if I don’t believe that the first few people were real people, but are in fact mythological (as in, early stories that evolved through years of retelling to explain the beginnings and nature of humankind, through which a person can find rich life lessons and meaning about life), when do I believe that they start being real?  If not Adam, then Noah?  Abraham?  King David?  Jesus?  As someone who has absolutely no understanding of the actual history of the times of the Bible (or, you know, recent history), if I don’t believe that everything in the Bible is literal and exactly as written, I have to make decisions (prayerfully, hopefully) about what I believe were real miracles and what are good life lessons.

Also, something worth noting as I begin discussing Genesis, is that I began reading A New Kind of Christianity by Brian McLaren.  In the first chapter, he discusses the narrative question, specifically, how should we approach the narrative of the Bible, and is the way that we’ve historically approached it the best way?  (Note: my words and how I understood the chapter.)  I found the chapter to be incredibly rewarding and generative of a ton of questions to ask while reading.

Basically, McLaren suggests that we (Christians) historically have looked at the Bible from a Plato-esque worldview, with perfection, the fall, condemnation, salvation, heaven, and hell.  And that the Bible is messier than that.  And more real and earthy and dirty and alive than that, if that makes sense.  Anyway, he said it much better than me, so go read the book (although I might blog more about it later).

So, without further rambling by me, I will begin my discussions with some thoughts on Adam and Eve and the so-called Fall.

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3 responses to “My Genesis of Bible Study

  1. katyjane, you have come SO close in your first paragraph that I am LITERALLY jumping up and down in my seat. I have not come across anyone yet who is so primed to receive this. Please do a search: The First Scandal Adam and Eve.

  2. Hi Robert!
    Welcome to my blog. Although, I have to say, first, I’m not sure why you didn’t just link to your blog (http://thefirstscandal.blogspot.com/ for anyone interested) when you suggested I search for it.

    I have to say, though, that while I think that your idea is an interesting concept and a unique way to look at the story of Adam and Eve, I don’t think that I am going to buy into it. I don’t think that Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden because Eve masturbated and then Adam had anal sex with her.

    First, I think that is much too specific to be what the very beginning of the Bible is all about, if it is not to be taken literally. Second, I don’t really think that God cares what we do in the bedroom (or garden, or wherever the (legal) place of our fancy is), so long as it is done consensually. And, you know, maybe he cares about being married, or being committed, or something, but I’m not even 100% sold on that (although I will say that in my own life, waiting until marriage with my husband was a good decision that I will never regret).

    Best regards, katyjane

  3. Pingback: My Genesis of Bible Study « Mommy CPA | Christian Outreach

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